Submitted to: Sustainable Agriculture International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Estimates are reviewed for illnesses and deaths worldwide caused by agrochemicals. However, it is very difficult to determine the actual numbers of pesticide caused illnesses or deaths. It is infinitely more difficult to obtain accurate numbers on chronic illnesses, including the development of cancer, caused by pesticide use. In the U.S., there are reports of spontaneous abortion among women who work with benomyl (benlate). Unfortunately, this data is confounded with a potential of spontaneous abortion associated with the alkaloids found in potatoes, the most frequently consumed vegetable in the U.S. Other carcinogens are also found in nature. Therefore, it may never be determined that a pesticide caused a chronic disease in the general population. However, the impact of agrochemicals on the environment can definitely be described in some cases. A solution to the overall problem is very simply, reduce agrochemical use and promote sustainable agriculture.